Rather than break down yesterday’s Nooner-disaster at Madison Square Garden – and considering the rapidly disintegrating Knick state of affairs – I thought readers of this blog would be far better served by a behind-the-scenes interpretation of everything that has been said of late.
Coach Mike D’Antoni:
We hit a snag and we seem to whither and for whatever reason we haven’t overcome any kind of obstacles. It’s probably spirit more. It just seems like a two-point deficit and the world is caving in. We’ve got to play harder, play with much more urgency. It should always be a team game, I think Denver made that case, a lot of people’s making the case. [On sitting Amar’e and ‘Melo during the fourth quarter yesterday], I just didn’t feel like it was fair to them to take them out and try something else. If guys are going to fight that hard and bring you back, I [want to] give them the chance to finish it up.
When the going gets tough, we get going. And by going, I mean disappearing. It’s probably that one guy I can’t mention by name or else I’ll be dealing with hurt feelings and busted egos and stuff. Oh, and I might not work here anymore. Seriously, though, I mean, Jesus, we go down a freakin’ bucket, and all of a sudden, the ship be sinkin’. We have to play harder, more urgently. You know, for once. Look, when we traded the entire world for ‘Melo, Denver got better. They’re still better. George Karl’s throat practically fell out and the guy’s got a better record than I do. Why in god’s name would I play my “superstars” when my 2nd round draft picks play with more heart and possess more basketball-IQ?! I may be dumb, but I ain’t stupid.
When we get down, it just seems like our whole energy just goes out the door. Times where we went on a little spurt, where we didn’t make shots, guys were putting their heads down, and they heard a couple of boos out there, that just sucked the whole energy out of everybody tonight out there on the basketball court and we can’t have that. Our whole energy is low. We’ve got to find a way to get it done right now. It’s coming down toward the end of the season. Our backs are against the wall and we’ve got to figure it out. It’s not fun though. [On sitting during the fourth quarter yesterday], I don’t really know what was Coach’s mindset. Maybe he was trying to save us for tomorrow. I’m not sure. You’re going to have to ask him. We’ve just got to figure it out. Now is not the time to drop our heads and start thinking too much. We’ve got to figure it out, one way or another. Something’s got to happen.
When I am not getting my shots, in the places I like to get them, when I like to get them, as often as I like them, my energy just goes out the door. How dare my teammates put their heads down when shots are not falling?! That’s my *%#@*%! job! And these fans, when there are boos out there, it just sucks the energy out of everybody and we can’t have that. Did people not see my dominant first quarter? I’m out there on pace for 60 points and it’s still not good enough it seems. The clock be tickin’ on this season. This was supposed to be fun. I was told this would be fun. Where is the fun?! Y’all gotta talk to D’Antoni about the minutes. Speaking of a shortage of minutes, did MDA’s contract expire yet? Now is not the time to drop our heads and start thinking too much. You only do that when you absolutely cannot stand your situation and you’re angling to get out. I mean, so I’ve heard. From a friend.
Yeah, it’s definitely not easy. I think we could have put up a better fight [today]. We have to do a better job at knowing the importance of games. This is [losing] we’ve got to not get used to. I came here for a reason, I came here to win. That’s something that’s still close to my heart. So we’ve got to find a way to re-establish ourselves and implement our will on opposing teams.Tough game [tomorrow] in Chicago. A lot of games within this month against tough, competitive teams. So it’s up to us as players to want to do better out there.
Yeah, it’s definitely not easy getting along with other dudes making tens of millions of dollars to play basketball. I think we could have put up a better fight [today and every other day we take the court]. We have to do a better job at you know, like doing our jobs and stuff. I came here for a reason. And by reason, I mean $100 million dollars. And also winning. That’s something that’s still close to my heart. Like fashion. Fashion is close to my heart, too. That’s just how I roll. We’ve got to find a way to stop letting opposing teams impose their will on us. 99% chance we lose in Chicago, amirite? Lots of games coming against teams that are better than us, although that’s pretty much every game, but still. It’s up to us players to stop worrying about getting our coach fired, start practicing free throws and stop tweeting pictures of large derrieres.
[On being fined $25k by the league for inappropriate Twitter picture]
I didn’t know it was going to be as big a deal as it is now. I definitely regret it. Anytime I do anything that takes away from our team, I’m definitely going to regret it. I can’t worry about off-the-court stuff, our issue right now is on the basketball court.
I didn’t know it was going to be as big. I mean, the full body shots she sent me beforehand must have been photoshopped. I definitely regret it. Anytime I do anything that takes away from my absolutely stellar reputation – and street-cred with the ladies – I’m definitely going to regret it. For at least 30 seconds. I can’t worry about the off-the-court stuff. Heck, I am not sure that I can worry about what’s happening on the court, either. That stuff is way above my pay grade, ya feel me?
In the third quarter, I guess, you know they hit a lot of shots. We were a step slow on defense and I didn’t take care of the ball, so they get easy run-outs in transition and then we didn’t box out the way we should have, so more easy baskets and they get into a flow, they get into a rhythm. I’m getting used to being the primary or the top one, two, three things on the scouting report and I’m seeing a lot of different people try to take away what I was comfortable with. I need to make sure I stay aggressive and I don’t change anything in terms of my approach. I can make better decisions, but I can’t change my approach.
In the third quarter, we imploded. You know, like we do every single game. We were a step slow on defense, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, and I didn’t take care of the ball, so they absolutely took advantage of me and then we didn’t box out the way we should of, again, stop me if you’ve heard this one before… [deep breath] so they got into a flow, they got into a rhythm. Normally I love flow and rhythm. Since Linsanity began, Landry has been taking me to all the clubs. I’m getting to be a pretty good dancer. Like Victor Cruz always says, “if you haven’t got flow and rhythm, you haven’t got anything.” I’m considering doing the next Dancing With the Stars, but ONLY if they let me dance with Victor. Opposing teams are really picking on me now, though. It’s shocking, really. I mean, I’m a really nice guy, what did I ever do to them?! The nerve of them taking away my right hand. My right is my bread and butter out there! I can make better decisions, but I can’t change my approach. And yes, I know that my approach leads to me make bad decisions, but until someone can explain that whole chicken or egg thing to me, I’m gonna stick with what got me here.
So there you have it, Folks. A “literal” translation of recent Knick-comments to the media. Coming soon to a book store near you: “Knick Speak For Dummies: The Complete Guide To Understanding What the Hell These Guys Really Mean”.
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